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Political Editors / Oct. 31, 2017

Mueller Has Democrats Sweating Bullets

Podesta resigns from his own lobbying firm the same day that Mueller charges Manafort. Coincidence?

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is far from over. Donald Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and two other men were indicted Monday on charges unrelated to “colluding with Russia.” There are now rumors of up to four more pending indictments, but the identity of those individuals is still a mystery. As we warned when the special counsel was announced, Mueller can take this investigation wherever he wants. Recall that after the Whitewater investigation, Bill Clinton was eventually brought before Congress on perjury charges that were unrelated to the reason for initiating that investigation in the first place. As for Mueller’s investigation, National Review’s Andrew McCarthy notes, “After all these months of investigation, the much-anticipated Manafort charges turned out to be unrelated to Russian meddling in the 2016 election, let alone to any purported Trump-campaign collusion therein.”

What is an interesting development is the fact that after news broke of Manafort being charged, Democrat lobbyist Tony Podesta resigned from his own lobbying firm, the Podesta Group, which he started with his brother and Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. As the ship begins to sink, the rats start to flee. As previously noted, Manafort has a long history of working for the Podesta brothers. Last year, Tony Podesta admitted to the Justice Department that he had failed to disclose meetings in 2014 he had put together between the Indian government and John Podesta, who was at the time a senior counselor to Barack Obama.

Meanwhile, what should be made of the third person charged by Mueller on Monday? That would be George Papadopoulos, a low-level policy adviser on Trump’s campaign team who pleaded guilty for making false statements to the FBI. Well, since Mueller went after Papadopoulos it may suggest that he has not extracted from Manafort the information he’s seeking, be that a conspiracy of a Trump/Russia collusion, or another as yet undisclosed target. It’s worth repeating that the original impetus for empowering these special counsels rarely ends up being where their investigations conclude.

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